Hong Kong’s largest television broadcaster TVB has applied for a temporary injunction against people who “unlawfully and willfully” assault its news crew and damage its property.

The broadcaster said the move was prompted by recent anti-extradition bill protests, with demonstrators targeting TVB over perceived bias.

File photo: inmediahk.net.

“The application for an interlocutory injunction… has been necessitated by the recent attacks of TVB news crew and properties, which have posed risks to the safety of its employees and properties,” the company said in a statement.

“TVB regrets that there have been unfounded allegations of bias in TVB news, which has led to a boycott campaign being launched through various social media against TVB with a view to cause economic harm to it.”

The broadcaster has faced attacks on its news crews, as well as damage to its news vehicles and cameras, it added.

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File photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

The application will be heard in court on Friday at 10am.

According to court documents, TVB asked the court to restrain any acts of property damage, which includes “painting words” – a reference to the widespread practice of graffiti by protesters.

It also asked the court to forbid “injuring, assaulting or causing any bodily harm to any employee,” which included projecting lights at them “of such intensity and/or frequency that is capable of reducing a viewer’s ability to see.”

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Protesters hold up signs for a TVB cameraman (right). Photo: inmediahk.net.

TVB employees have been the target of numerous acts of vandalism. On June 27, protesters surrounded a cameraman and shouted insults and shone lights at him. On September 23, protesters defaced a TVB news camera with spray paint.

Both incidents have been condemned by the Hong Kong Journalists Association.

Photo: May James/HKFP.
Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

In addition, TVB vans have been smashed on at least two occasions, including at a July protest in Sha Tin protest and protest in August in Wong Tai Sin.

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Photo: TVB screenshot.

Separately, the Chinese-language newspaper Apple Daily last month obtained an injunction to halt the doxxing of its reporters, after a website leaked personal details of more than a dozen employees.

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Holmes Chan is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. He covers local news with a focus on law, politics, and social movements. He studied law and literature at the University of Hong Kong.